The orthodox faith
For the youth



(Critical Annotations on the text will be found in Dr. Routh's Scriptorum Eccl. Opusc.
Tom. II. [Ed. III.] p. 85.)

The holy and ecumenical Synod, gathered together in Ephesus by the decree of our most religious Emperors, to the bishops, presbyters, deacons, and all the people in every province and city:

When we had assembled, according to the religious decree [of the Emperors], in the Metropolis of Ephesus, certain persons, a little more than thirty in number, withdrew from amongst us, having for the leader of their schism John, Bishop of Antioch. Their names are as follows: first, the said John of Antioch in Syria, John of Damascus, Alexander of Apamea, Alexander of Hierapolis, Himerius of Nicomedia, Fritilas of Heraclea, Helladius of Tarsus, Maximin of Anazarbus, Theodore of Marcianopolis, Peter of Trajanopolis, Paul of Emissa, Polychronius of Heracleopolis, Euthyrius of Tyana, Meletius of Neocaesarea, Theodoret of Cyrus, Apringius of Chalcedon, Macarius of Laodicea Magna, Zosys of Esbus, Sallust of Corycus in Cilicia, Hesychius of Castabala in Cilicia, Valentine of Mutloblaca, Eustathius of Parnassus, Philip of Theodosia, and Daniel, and Dexianus, and Julian, and Cyril, and Olympius, and Diegenes, Polius, Theophanes of Philadelphia, Trajan of Augusta, Aurelius of Irenepolis, Mysaeus of Aradus, Helladius of Ptolemais. These men, having no privilege of ecclesiastical communion on the ground of a priestly authority, by which they could injure or benefit any persons; since some of them had already been deposed; and since from their refusing to join in our decree against Nestorius, it was manifestly evident to all men that they were all promoting the opinions of Nestorius and Celestius; the Holy Synod, by one common decree, deposed them from all ecclesiastical communion, and deprived them of all their priestly power by which they might injure or profit any persons.


WHEREAS it is needful that they who were detained from the holy Synod and remained in their own district or city, for any reason, ecclesiastical or personal, should not be ignorant of the matters which were thereby decreed; we, therefore, notify your holiness and charity that if any Metropolitan of a Province, forsaking the holy and Ecumenical Synod, has joined the assembly of the apostates, or shall join the same hereafter; or, if he has adopted, or shall hereafter adopt, the doctrines of Celestius, he has no power in any way to do anything in opposition to the bishops of the province, since he is already cast forth from all ecclesiastical communion and made incapable of exercising his ministry; but he shall himself be subject in all things to those very bishops of the province and to the neighbouring orthodox metropolitans, and shah be degraded from his episcopal rank.



If a metropolitan, having deserted his synod, adheres or shall adhere to Celestine, let him be cast out.


Scholion concerning Celestine and Celestius. Whose finds at the end of the fourth canon of the Holy Synod of Ephesus [and the same is true of this first canon. Ed.] "Clerics who shall have consented to Celestine or Nestorius, should be deposed," let him not read "Celestine" with an "n," but "Celestius" without the "n." For Celestine was the holy and orthodox Pope of Rome, Celestius was the heretic. It is perfectly certain that this was no accident on the part of Aristenus, for in his commentary on Canon V., he expressly says that "Celestine was Bishop of Rome" and goes on to affirm that, "The Holy Synod decreed that they who embraced the opinions of Nestorius and Celestine," etc. What perhaps is equally astonishing is that Nicholas Hydruntinus, while correcting the name, still is of opinion that Celestius was a pope of Rome and begins his scholion with the title. <greek>peri</greek> <greek>kelestinou</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>kelestiou</greek> <greek>Papwn</greek> P<greek>wmhs</greek>. Beveridge well points out that this confusion is all the more remarkable as in the Kalendar of the Saints observed at that very time by the Greeks, on the eighth day of April was kept the memory of "Celestine, Pope of Rome, as a Saint and Champion against the Nestorian heretics." (Bev., Annot, in C. v.).

Simeon the Logothete adds to this epitome the words, <greek>kai</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>exhs</greek> <greek>adioikhtos</greek> which are necessary to make the sense complete.


The assembly referred to in this canon is one held by John of Antioch who had delayed his coming so as to hamper the meeting of the synod. John was a friend of Nestorius and made many fruitless attempts to induce him to accept the orthodox faith. It will be noticed that the conciliabulum was absolutely silent with respect to Nestorius and his doctrine and contented itself with attacking St. Cyril and the orthodox Memnon, the bishop of Ephesus. St. Cyril and his friends did indeed accuse the Antiochenes of being adherents of Nestorius, and in a negative way they certainly were so, and were in open opposition to the defenders of the orthodox faith; but, as Tillemont (1) has welI pointed out, they did not theologically agree with the heresy of Nestorius, gladly accepted the orthodox watchword "Mother of God," and subsequently agreed to his deposition.

The first session of the Council of Ephesus had already taken place on June 22, and it was only on June 26th or 27th, that John of Antioch arrived at last at Ephesus.

(Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. III., p. 55 et scqq.)
The Synod immediately sent a deputation to meet him, consisting of several bishops and clerics, to show him proper respect, and at the same time to make him acquainted with the deposition of Nestorius, so that he might not be drawn into any intercourse with him. The soldiers who surrounded Archbishop John prevented the deputation from speaking to him in the street; consequently they accompanied him to his abode, but were compelled to wait here for several hours, exposed to the insults of the soldiers, and at last, when they had discharged their commission, were driven home, ill-treated and beaten. Count Irenaeus, the friend of Nestorius, had suggested this treatment, and approved of it. The envoys immediately informed the Synod of what had happened, and showed the wounds which they had received, which called forth great indignation against John of Antioch. According to the representation of Memnon, excommunication was for this reason pronounced against him; but we shall see further on that this did not take place until afterwards, and it is clear that Memnon, in his brief narrative, has passed over an intermediate portion -- the threefold invitation of John. In the meantime, Candidian had gone still further in his opposition to the members of the synod, causing them to be annoyed and insulted by his soldiers, and even cutting off their supply of food, while he provided Nestorius with a regular body-guard of armed peasants. John of Antioch, immediately after his arrival, while still dusty from the journey, and at the time when he was allowing the envoys of the synod to wait, held at his town residence a Conciliabulum with his adherents, at which, first of all Count Candidian related how Cyril and his friends, in spite of all warnings, and in opposition to the imperial decrees, had held a session five days before, had contested his (the count's) right to be present, had dismissed the bishops sent by Nestorius, and had paid no attention to the letters of others. Before he proceeded further, John of Antioch requested that the Emperor's edict of convocation should be read, whereupon Candidian went on with his account of what had taken place, and in answer to a fresh question of John's declared that Nestorius had been condemned unheard. John found this quite in keeping with the disposition of the synod since, instead of receiving him and his companions in a friendly manner, they had rushed upon them tumultuously (it was thus that he described what had happened). But the holy Synod, which was now assembled, would decide what was proper with respect to them. And this synod, of which John speaks in such grandiloquent terms, numbered only forty-three members, including himself, while on the other side there were more than two hundred.

John then proposed the question [as to] what was to be decided respecting Cyril and his adherents; and several who were not particularly pronounced Nestorian bishops came forward to relate how Cyril and Memnon of Ephesus had, from the beginning, maltreated the Nestorians, had allowed them no church, and even on the festival of Pentecost had permitted them to hold no service. Besides Memnon had sent his clerics into the residences of the bishops, and had ordered them with threats to take part in his council. And in this way he and Cyril had confused everything, so that their own heresies might not be examined. Heresies, such as the Arian, the Apollinarian, and the Eunomian, were certainly contained in the last letter of Cyril [to Nestorius, along with the anathematisms]. It was therefore John's duty to see to it that the heads of these heresies (Cyril and Memnon) should be suitably punished for such grave offences, and that the bishops who had been misguided by them should be subjected to ecclesiastical penalties.

To these impudent and false accusations John replied with hypocritical meekness "that he had certainly wished that he should not be compelled to exclude from the Church any one who had been received into the sacred priesthood, but diseased members must certainly be cut off in order to save the whole body; and for this reason Cyril and Memnon deserved to be deposed, because they had given occasion to disorders, and had acted in opposition to the commands of the Emperors, and besides, were in the chapters mentioned [the anathematisms] guilty of heresy. All who had been misled by them were to be excommunicated until they confessed their error, anathematized the heretical propositions of Cyril, adhered strictly to the creed of Nice, without any foreign addition, and joined the synod of John."
The assembly approved of this proposal, and John then announced the sentence in the following manner:--

"The holy Synod, assembled in Ephesus, by the grace of God and the command of the pious Emperors, declares: We should indeed have wished to be able to hold a Synod in peace, but because you held a separate assembly from a heretical, insolent, and obstinate disposition, although we were already in the neighbourhood, and have filled both the city and the holy Synod with confusion, in order to prevent tire examination of your Apollinarian, Arian, and Eunomian heresies, and have not waited for the arrival of the holy bishops of all regions, and have also disregarded the warnings and admonitions of Candidian, therefore shall you, Cyril of Alexandria, and you Memnon of this place, know that you are deposed and dismissed from all sacerdotal functions, as the originators of the whole disorder, etc. You others, who gave your consent, are excommunicated, until you acknowledge your fault and reform, accept anew the Nicene faith [as if they had surrendered it!] without foreign addition, anathematize the heretical propositions of Cyril, and in all things comply with the command of the Emperors, who require a peaceful and more accurate consideration of the dogma."

This decree was subscribed by all the forty-three members of the Conciliabulum:
The Conciliabulum then, in very one-sided letters informed the Emperor, the imperial ladies (the wife and sister of the Emperor Theodosius II.), the clergy, the senate, and the people of Constantinople, of all that had taken place, and a little later once more required the members of the genuine Synod, in writing, no longer to delay the time for repentance and conversion, and to separate themselves from Cyril and Memnon, etc., otherwise they would very soon be forced to lament their own folly.
On Saturday evening the Conciliabulum asked Count Candidian to take care that neither Cyril nor Memnon, nor any one of their (excommunicated) adherents should hold divine service on Sunday. Candidian now wished that no member of either synodal party should officiate, but only the ordinary clergy of the city; but Memnon declared that he would in no way submit to John and his synod, and Cyril and his adherents held divine service. All the efforts of John to appoint by force another bishop of Ephesus in the place of Memnon were frustrated by the opposition of the orthodox inhabitants.


IF any provincial bishops were not present at the holy Synod and have joined or attempted to join the apostacy; or if, after subscribing the deposition of Nestorius, they went back into the assembly of apostates; these men, according to the decree of the holy Synod, are to be deposed from the priesthood and degraded from their rank.



If any bishop assents to or favours Nestorius, let him be discharged.

It was not unnatural that when it was seen that the Imperial authority was in favour of the Antiochene party that some of the clergy should have been weak enough to vacillate in their course, the more so as the Conciliabulum was not either avowedly, nor really, a Nestorian assembly, but one made up of those not sympathizing with Nestorius's heresy, yet friendly to the heretic himself, and disapproving of what they looked upon as the uncalled-for harshness and precipitancy of Cyril's course.


IF any of the city or country clergy have been inhibited by Nestorius or his followers from the exercise of the priesthood, on account of their orthodoxy, we have declared it just that these should be restored to their proper rank. And in general we forbid all the clergy who adhere to the Orthodox and Ecumenical Synod in any way to submit to the bishops who have already apostatized or shall hereafter apostatize.



To whom Nestorius forbids the priesthood, he is most worthy; but whom he approves is profane.

It would seem from this canon that any bishop who had become a member of the Conciliabulum of John, was considered as eo ipso having lost all jurisdiction. Also it would seem that the clergy were to disregard the inhibition of Nestorian prelates or at least these inhibitions were by some one to be removed. This principle, if generally applied, would seem to be somewhat revolutionary.


(Apos. Fath. Ign. Ad Rom. i., Vol. II., Sec. I., p. 191.)
The words <greek>kwros</greek> ("place"), <greek>kwra</greek> ("country"), and <greek>kwrion</greek> ("district"), may be distinguished as implying locality, extension, and limitation, respectively. The last word commonly denotes either "an estate, a farm," or "a fastness, a stronghold," or (as a mathematical term) "an area." Here, as not unfrequently in later writers, it is "a region, a district," but the same fundamental idea is presumed. The relation of <greek>kwros</greek> to <greek>kwrion</greek> is the same as that of <greek>arguros</greek>, <greek>krusos</greek> to <greek>argurion</greek>, <greek>krusion</greek>, the former being the metals themselves, the latter the metals worked up into bullion or coins or plate or trinkets or images, e.g. Macar. Magn. Apocr. iii. 42 (p. 147).


IF any of the clergy should fall away, and publicly or privately presume to maintain the doctrines of Nestorius or Celestius, it is declared just by the holy Synod that these also should be deposed.



If any of the clergy shall consent to Celestine (1) or Nestorius, let them be deposed.


The only point which is material to the main object of this volume is that Pelagius and his fellow heretic Celestius were condemned by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus for their heresy. On this point there can be no possible doubt. And further than this the Seventh Council by ratifying the Canons of Trullo received the Canons of the African Code which include those of the Carthaginian conciliar condemnations of the Pelagian heresy to which the attention of the reader is particularly drawn. The condemnation of these heretics at Ephesus is said to have been due chiefly to the energy of St. Augustine, assisted very materially by a layman living in Constantinople by the name of Marius Mercator. Pelagius and his heresy have a sad interest to us as he is said to have been born in Britain. He was a monk and preached at Rome with great applause in the early years of the fifth century. But in his extreme horror of Manichaeism and Gnosticism he fell into the opposite extreme; and from the hatred of the doctrine of the inherent evilness of humanity he fell into the error of denying the necessity of grace. Pelagius's doctrines may be briefly stated thus. Adam's sin injured only himself, so that there is no such thing as original sin. Infants therefore are not born in sin and the children of wrath, but are born innocent, and only need baptism so as to be knit into Christ, not "for the remission of sins" as is declared in the creed. Further he taught that man could live without committing any sin at all. And for this there was no need of grace; indeed grace was not possible, according to his teaching. The only "grace," which he would admit the existence of, was what we may call external grace, e.g. the example of Christ, the teaching of his ministers, and the like. Petavius (2) indeed thinks that he allowed the activity of internal grace to illumine the intellect, but this seems quite doubtful. Pelagius's writings have come down to us in a more or less -- generally the latter -- pure form. There are fourteen books on the Epistles of St. Paul, also a letter to Demetrius and his Libellus fidei ad Innocentium.

In the writings of St. Augustine are found fragments of Pelagius's writings on free will. It would be absurd to attempt in the limits possible to this volume to give any, even the most sketchy, treatment of the doctrine involved in the Pelagian controversy: the reader must be referred to the great theologians for this and to aid him I append a bibliographical table on the subject. St. Augustine. St. Jerome. Marius Mercator, Commonitorium super nomine Coelestii. Vossius, G. J., Histor. de controv. quas Pel. ejusque reliquioe moverunt.
Noris. Historia Pelagiana.
Garnier, J. Dissertat. in Pelag. in Opera Mar. Mercator.

Quesnel, Dissert. de conc. Africanis in Pelag. causa celebratis etc.
Fuchs, G. D., Bibliothek der Kirchenversammlungen.
Horn, De sentent. Pat. de peccato orig.
Habert, P. L., Theologioe Groecorum Patrum vindicatoe circa univers. materiam gratioe. Petavius, De Pelag. et Semi-Pelag. (1)
The English works on the subject are so well known to the English reader as to need no mention. As it is impossible to treat the theological question here, so too is it impossible to treat the historical question. However I may remind the reader that Nestorius and his heresy were defended by Theodore of Mopsuestia, and that he and Celestius were declared by Pope Zosimus to be innocent in the year 417, a decision which was entirely disregarded by the rest of the world, a Carthaginian Synod subsequently anathematizing him. Finally the Pope retracted his former decision, and in 418 anathematized him and his fellow, and gave notice of this in his "epistola tractoria" to the bishops. Eighteen Italian bishops, who had followed the Pope in his former decision of a twelve month before, refused to change their minds at his bidding now, and were accordingly deposed, among them Julian of Eclanum. After this Pelagius and Celestius found a fitting harbour of refuge with Nestorius of Constantinople, and so all three were condemned together by the council of Ephesus, he that denied the incarnation of the Word, and they twain that denied the necessity of that incarnation and of the grace purchased thereby.


IF any have been condemned for evil practices by the holy Synod, or by their own bishops; and if, with his usual lack of discrimination, Nestorius (or his followers) has attempted, or shall hereafter attempt, uncanonically to restore such persons to communion and to their former rank, we have declared that they shall not be profited thereby, but shall remain deposed nevertheless.



If one condemned by his bishop is received by Nestorius it shall profit him nothing.

This canon is interesting as shewing that thus early in the history of the Church, it was not unusual for those disciplined for their faults in one communion to go to another and there be welcomed and restored, to the overthrow of discipline and to the lowering of the moral sense of the people to whom they minister.


LIKEWISE, if any should in any way attempt to set aside the orders in each case made by the holy Synod at Ephesus, the holy Synod decrees that, if they be bishops or clergymen, they shall absolutely forfeit their office; and, if laymen, that they shall be excommunicated.



If any layman shall resist the Synod, let him be excommunicated. But if it be a cleric let him be discharged.

How courageous the passing of this canon was can only be justly appreciated by those who are familiar with the weight of the imperial authority at that day in ecclesiastical matters and who will remember that at the very time this canon was passed it was extremely difficult to say whether the Emperor would support Cyril's or John's synod.


In the Vatican books and in some others only these six canons are found; but in certain texts there is added, under the name of Canon VII., the definition of the same holy Synod put forth after the Presbyter Charisius had stated his case, and for Canon VIII. another decree of the synod concerning the bishops of Cyprus.


In the Collections of John Zonaras and of Theodore Balsamon, also in the "Code of the Universal Church" which has John Tilius, Bishop of St. Brieuc and Christopher Justellus for its editors, are found eight canons of the Ephesine council, to wit the six which are appended to the foregoing epistle and two others: but it is altogether a subject of wonder that in the Codex of Canons, made for the Roman Church by Dionysius Exiguus, none of these canons are found at all. I suppose that the reason of this is that the Latins saw that they were not decrees affecting the Universal Church, but that the Canons set forth by the Ephesine fathers dealt merely with the peculiar and private matters of Nestorius and of his followers.

The Decree of the same holy Synod, pronounced after hearing the Exposition [of the Faith] by the Three hundred and eighteen holy and blessed Fathers in the city of Nice, and the impious formula composed by Theodore of Mopsuestia, and given to the same holy Synod at Ephesus by the Presbyter Charisius, of Philadelphia:


WHEN these things had been read, the holy Synod decreed that it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (<greek>eteran</greek>) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicaea.
But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized.

And in like manner, if any, whether bishops, clergymen, or laymen, should be discovered to hold or teach the doctrines contained in the Exposition introduced by the Presbyter Charisius concerning the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son of God, or the abominable and profane doctrines of Nestorius, which are subjoined, they shall be subjected to the sentence of this holy and ecumenical Synod. So that, if it be a bishop, he shall be removed from his bishopric and degraded; if it be a clergyman, he shall likewise be stricken from the clergy; and if it be a layman, he shall be anathematized, as has been afore said.



Any bishop who sets forth a faith other than that of Nice shall be an alien from the Church: if a layman do so let him be cast out.

The heading is that found in the ordinary Greek texts. The canon itself is found verbatim in the Acts -- Actio VI. (Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 689.)


"When these things had been read." Balsamon here makes an egregious mistake, for it was not after the reading of the decree of this council and of the Nicene Creed, that this canon was set forth, as Balsamon affirms; but after the reading of the libellum of Charisius, and of the Nestorian Creed, as is abundantly evident from what we read in the Acts of the council. From this it is clear that Balsamon had never seen the Acts of this council, or at least had never carefully studied them, else he could not have written such a comment.

[With regard to Charisius, Balsamon] makes another mistake. For not only did this presbyter not follow the evil opinions of Nestorius, but as a matter of fact exhibited to the synod his libellum written against Nestorius; in which so far from asserting that Nestorius was orthodox, he distinctly calls him <greek>kakodoxos</greek>.

Photius has included this canon in his Nomocanons, Title I., cap. j.

EXCURSUS ON THE WORDS <greek>pistin</greek> <greek>eperan</greek>

It has been held by some and was urged by the Greeks at the Council of Florence, (1) and often before and since, as well as by Pope Leo III., in answer to the ambassadors of Charlemagne, that the prohibition of the Council of Ephesus to make, hold, or teach any other faith than that of Nice forbade anyone, even a subsequent General Council, to add anything to the creed. This interpretation seems to be shewn to be incorrect from the following circumstances.
1. That the prohibition was passed by the Council immediately after it had heard Charisius read his creed, which it had approved, and on the strength of which it had received its author, and after the reading of a Nestorian creed which it condemned. From this it seems clear that <greek>egeran</greek> must mean "different," "contradictory," and not "another" in the sense of mere explanatory additions to the already existing creed.

(E. B. Pusey, On the Clause "and the Son," p. 81.)

St. Cyril ought to understand the canon, which he probably himself framed, as presiding over the Council of Ephesus, as Archbishop of Alexandria and representative of Celestine, Bishop of Rome. His signature immediately succeeds the Canon. We can hardly think that we understand it better than he who probably framed it, nay who presided over the Council which passed it. He, however, explained that what was not against the Creed was not beside it. The Orientals had proposed to him, as terms of communion, that he should "do away with all he had written in epistles, tomes, or books, and agree with that only faith which had been defined by our holy Fathers at Nice." But, St. Cyril wrote back: "We all follow that exposition of faith which was defined by the holy fathers in the city of Nice, sapping absolutely nothing of the things contained in it. For they are all right and unexceptionable; and anything curious, after it, is not safe. But what I have rightly written against the blasphemies of Nestorius no words will persuade me to say that they were not done well:" and against the imputation that he "had received an exposition of faith or new Creed, as dishonouring that old and venerable Creed," he says:

"Neither have we demanded of any an exposition of faith, nor have we received one newly framed by others. For Divine Scripture suffices us, and the prudence of the holy fathers, and the symbol of faith, framed perfectly as to all right doctrine. But since the most holy Eastern Bishops differed from us as to that of Ephesus and were somehow suspected of being entangled in the meshes of Nestorius, therefore they very wisely made a defence, to free themselves from blame, and eager to satisfy the lovers of the blameless faith that they were minded to have no share in his impiety; and the thing is far from all note of blame. If Nestorius himself, when we all held out to him that he ought to condemn his own dogmas and choose the truth instead thereof, had made a written confession thereon, who would say that he framed for us a new exposition of faith? Why then do they calumniate the assent of the most holy Bishops of Phoenicia, calling it a new setting forth of the Creed, whereas they made it for a good and necessary end, to defend themselves and soothe those who thought that they followed the innovations of Nestorius? For the holy Ecumenical Synod gathered at Ephesus provided, of necessity, that no other exposition of faith besides that which existed, which the most blessed fathers, speaking in the Holy Ghost, defined, should be brought into the Churches of God. But they who at one time, I know not how, differed from it, and were suspected of not being right-minded, following the Apostolic and Evangelic doctrines, how should they free themselves from this ill-report? by silence? or rather by self-defence, and by manifesting the power of the faith which was in them? The divine disciple wrote, "be ready always to give an answer to every one who asketh you an account of the hope which is in you." But he who willeth to do this, innovates in nothing, nor doth he frame any new exposition of faith, but rather maketh plain to those who ask him, what faith he hath concerning Christ." (1)

2. The fathers of the Council of Chalcedon, by their practice, are authoritative exponents of the Canon of Ephesus. For they renewed the prohibition of the Council of Ephesus to "adduce any other faith," but, in "the faith" which is not to be set aside, they included not only the Creeds of Nice and Constantinople, but the definitions at Ephesus and Chalcedon itself. The statements of the faith were expanded, because fresh contradictions of the faith had emerged. After directing that both Creeds should be read, the Council says, "This wise and saving Symbol of Divine grace would have sufficed to the full knowledge and confirmation of the faith; for it teaches thoroughly the perfect truth of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and presents to those who receive it faithfully the Incarnation of the Lord." Then, having in detail shewn how both heresies were confuted by it, and having set forth the true doctrine, they sum up.

"These things being framed by us with all accuracy and care on every side, the holy and ecumenical Synod defines, that it shall be lawful for no one to produce or compose, or put together, or hold, or teach others another faith, and those who venture, etc." (as in the Council of Ephesus).

The Council of Chalcedon enlarged greatly the terms although not the substance of the faith contained in the Nicene Creed; and that, in view of the heresies, which had since arisen; and yet renewed in terms the prohibition of the Canon of Ephesus and the penalties annexed to its infringement. It shewed, then, in practice, that it did not hold the enlargement of the things proposed as deride to be prohibited, but only the producing of things contradictory to the faith once delivered to the saints. Its prohibition, moreover, to "hold" another faith shews the more that they meant only to prohibit any contradictory statement of faith. For if they had prohibited any additional statement not being a contradiction of its truth, then (as Cardinal Julian acutely argued in the Council of Florence), any one would fall under its anathema, who held (as all must) anything not expressed in set terms in the Nicene Creed; such as that God is eternal or incomprehensible.

It may not be amiss to remember that the argument that <greek>pistin</greek> forbids any addition to the Creed or any further definition of the faith, was that urged by the heretics at the Latrocinium, and the orthodox were there condemned on the ground that they had added to the faith and laid themselves under the Anathema of Ephesus. How far this interpretation was from being that of the Council of Chalcedon is evinced by the fact that it immediately declared that St. Flavian and Bishop Eusebius had been unjustly deposed, and proceeded to depose those who had deposed them. After stating these facts Dr. Pusey remarks, "Protestants may reject consistently the authority of all councils; but on what grounds any who accept their authority can insist on their own private interpretation of a canon of one council against the authority of another General Council which rejected that interpretation, I see not." (2)

4. The Fifth Ecumenical Council, the Second of Constantinople, received both the creeds of Nice and that of Constantinople, as well of the definitions of Ephesus and Chalcedon, and yet at the end of the fourth Session we find in the acts that the fathers cried out, with respect to the creed of Theodore of Mopsuestia: "This creed Satan composed. Anathema to him that composed this creed! The First Council of Ephesus anathematized this creed and its author. We know only one symbol of faith, that which the holy fathers of Nice set forth and handed down. This also the three holy Synods handed down. Into this we were baptized, and into this we baptize, etc., etc." (1)

From this it is clearer than day that these fathers looked upon the creed of Constantinople, with its additions, to be yet the same creed as that of Nice.

(Le Quien, Diss. Dam., n. 37.)

In the Sixth Council also, no one objecting, Peter of Nicomedia, Theodore, and other bishops, clerks, and monks, who had embraced the Monothelite heresy, openly recited a Creed longer and fuller than the Nicene.

In the Seventh Synod also, another was read written by Theodore of Jerusalem: and again, Basil of Ancyra, and the other Bishops, who had embraced the errors of the Iconoclasts, again offered another, although the Canon of Ephesus pronounced, that "it should not be lawful to offer to heretics, who wished to be converted to the Church, any other creed than the Nicene." In this same Synod, was read another profession of faith, which Tarasius had sent to the Patriarchs of the Eastern sees. It contains the Nicene, or Constantinopolitan Creed, variously enlarged and interpolated. But of the Holy Spirit it has specifically this: "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, which proceedeth from the Father through the Son." But since the Greeks at the Council of Florence said, that these were individual, not common, formulae of faith, here are others, which are plainly common and solemn, which are contained in their own rituals. They do not baptize a Hebrew or a Jew, until he have pronounced a profession of Christian Faith, altogether different from the Creed of Constantinople, as may be seen in the Euchologion. In the consecration of a Bishop, the Bishop elect is first bidden to recite the Creed of Constantinople; and then, as if this did not suffice, a second and a third are demanded of him; of which the last contains that aforesaid symbol, intermingled with various declarations. Nay, Photius himself is pointed out to be the author of this interpolated symbol. (2) I pass by other formulae, which the Greeks have framed for those who return to the Church from divers heresies or sects, although the terms of the Canon of Ephesus are, that "it is unlawful to propose any other faith to those who wish to be converted to the Church, from heathenism, or Judaism, or any heresy whatever."

The Judgment of the same Holy Synod, pronounced on the petition presented to it by the Bishops of Cyprus:


OUR brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved of God bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have reported to us an innovation which has been introduced contrary to the ecclessiastical constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and which touches the liberties of all. Wherefore, since injuries affecting all require the more attention, as they cause the greater damage, and particularly when they are transgressions of an ancient custom; and since those excellent men, who have petitioned the Synod, have told us in writing and by word of mouth that the Bishop of Antioch has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the Rulers of the holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury, according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the right of performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent Bishops. The same rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and provinces everywhere, so that none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors. But if any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.

Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjured: every Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts. And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is hero determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect.



Let the rights of each province be preserved pure and inviolate. No attempt to introduce any form contrary to these shall be of any avail.

The caption is the one given in the ordinary Greek texts. The canon is found word for word in the VII Session of the Council, with the heading, "A decree of the same holy Synod." (Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 802.)

I have followed in reading "the Canons of the Holy Apostles" the reading in Balsamon and Zonaras, and that of Elias Ehingerus Augustanus (so says Beveridge) in his edition of the Greek canons, A.D. 1614. But the Bodleian MS, and John of Antioch in his collection of the Canons, and the Codex edited by Christopher Justellus read "of the Holy Fathers" instead of "of the Holy Apostles." Beveridge is of opinion that this is the truer reading, for while no doubt the Ephesine Fathers had in mind the Apostolic Canons, yet they seem to have more particularly referred in this place to the canons of Nice. And this seems to be intimated in the libellum of the Bishops of Cyprus, who gave rise to this very decree, in which the condemned practice is said to be "contrary to the Apostolic Canons and to the definitions of the most holy Council of Nice."

This canon Photius does not recognize, for in the Preface to his Nomocanon he distinctly writes that there were but seven canons adopted by the Ephesine Synod, and in the first chapter of the first title he cites the pre- ceding canon as the seventh, that is the last. John of Antioch likewise says that there are but seven canons of Ephesus, but reckons this present canon as the seventh, from which Beveridge concludes that he rejects the Canon concerning Charisius (vii).


Concerning the present canon, of rather decree, the Bishop of Antioch, who had given occasion to the six former canons, gave also occasion for the enacting of this, by arrogating to himself the right of ordaining in the Island of Cyprus, in violation of former usage. After the bishops of that island, who are mentioned in the canon, had presented their statements (libellum) to the Synod, the present decree was set forth, in which warning was given that no innovation should be tolerated in Ecclesiastical administration, whether in Cyprus or elsewhere; but that in all Dioceses and Provinces their ancient rights and privileges should be preserved.

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